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Tell all books: good or bad?

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2006/9/10 22:25
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hey. Just wanted to get your opinions about "tell-all" books written by Dwight Landis, Charles Meck and others. Are they helpful or hurtful? In other words, do you feel these books give away too much info about overlooked/underfished spots that otherwise garner little or almost zero attention? Places that perhaps would suffer if too much "love" is payed to them because of such books(or now a days, website forums). I generally don't post stream names for this very reason. I've always had my concerns just wondering if I'm alone in thinking this way.

FYI: this is a poll about specific books and not the authors themselves. I respect (most of) them for what they've contributed to trout fishing over the years. No one can deny Mr. Meck & Mr Landis have been good for the sport and wild trout in Pa. However, I do take exception to certain aspects of their works(i.e. "spot burning).

Thanks,
Mark

Posted on: 2009/1/15 9:00


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?
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This is a perpetual debate that comes up regarding this forum and the internet in general and always generates a lot of opinion.
I've posted my views on this topic and will, for what it's worth, repeat 'em with regards to books and conventional print media as well as the internet. My personal view is that fishermen should use some restraint when discussing specific, smaller "local" waters on the internet. Talking about relatively large waters that are known statewide is fine - Yough, Lil J, etc. World famous waters like Letort, Spring Cr, Yellow B, Penns etc is also fine. I won't post reports about small wild trout streams or local stocked waters. On occasion, I'll respond to a post asking about a local stream or PM the reply. As for the books you mention, I have mixed feelings about them but do admit that, on the balance, they're probably fine and do more good than harm. My sense is that the internet is more likely to draw more attention to small waters than books (just a sense - no way to prove this one). Magazines probably have a wider readership than books. I enjoy one particular magazine that is infamous for "kiss and tell" but cringe at some of the articles in it. Keep in mind, some locals would welcome more fishermen visiting their local waters for economic reasons.
Again, this issue is purely a matter of personal opinion.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 9:31


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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I voted good because you still have to take the time to read the damn thing...anyone too lazy to explore fishing places won;t bother reading a book...

Posted on: 2009/1/15 10:12


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?
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Fishidiot wrote: "My personal view is that fishermen should use some restraint when discussing specific, smaller "local" waters on the internet. Talking about relatively large waters that are known statewide is fine - Yough, Lil J, etc. World famous waters like Letort, Spring Cr, Yellow B, Penns etc is also fine. I won't post reports about small wild trout streams or local stocked waters. On occasion, I'll respond to a post asking about a local stream or PM the reply. As for the books you mention, I have mixed feelings about them but do admit that, on the balance, they're probably fine and do more good than harm. My sense is that the internet is more likely to draw more attention to small waters than books (just a sense - no way to prove this one)."


Ditto! You saved me a lot of writing FI - thanks!

Posted on: 2009/1/15 10:42


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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The bottom line is that if a stream is good enough to support a certain level of popularity, it's going to be known. In all actuality, most of our favorite little brookie streams DON'T need the protection that we afford them. People as a whole just aren't that interested in that sort of thing.

I said good. If a stream's good enough to be identified as such in a book, people already know about it.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 10:53


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?
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You're welcome afish.
I'm not sure when the PFBC started listing trout waters on it's website. It seems to me that its been about a decade and I'll readily admit that I consult this list myself so the cat's largely out of the bag with regards to internet info. I think some of the books we're talking about pre-date the internet age when info about specific, relatively unknown waters was harder to come by. In this day and age their impact is much less significant.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 11:33


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I think tell all books are great. I do, however, differentiate them from "tell one" pieces, which are often little more than advertisements.

So basically, if a magazine does a 3 page article on stream X, proclaims it the best fishing in a 100 mile radius, and shows pictures of unrealistic hogs, and then adds addresses of local motels, fly shops, guides, etc., thats bad.

Its also bad to say stream X currently has a lot of big fish in the X-Y stretch and they're hitting sulfur spinners from 7-8 p.m.

But if a guy writes a book about 500 streams in an area and gives a "just the facts" analysis, thats not bad.

The difference is whether your spreading fishing pressure out, which is good IMO, or concentrating it, which is bad. Its good if more people know about the awesome number of great streams in this state, it makes us try new places, and come to appreciate and fight for streams other than the 2 or 3 we frequent most, and push for management decisions that are good for the state rather than just our stream.

So its not good, even on a message board, to spout out about some completely underlooked stream. But it would be ok to mention that stream along with 50 other streams in the region.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 11:39


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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I think they're bad, but I agree with some of the posters that the kiss-and-tell magazine pieces "advertising" one stream are much, much worse. I know of stream sections that got posted after mag. pieces regaled specific waters. I personally know landowners who fear too much traffic b/c of these pieces. I have seen fragile fisheries decimated b/c of these articles. Guys who fish to kill their limits can read, too. And, the authors of such pieces just don't care what their articles do to such places. To me, these writers rank right down there with Donald Beaver and the evil empire. I also fear the Internet posts about specific places. I fear they could have the same result as k/t magazine pieces.
(Farmer Dave et. al. -- Notice how restrained I was here. Remember "back in the day"?)

Posted on: 2009/1/15 12:01


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2006/9/11 13:05
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Everybody has valid points here, but the bottom line is that it is the average guy who wants these books. You cannot get mad at the author, because I'm guessing most of us would write about streams that we know if we were propositioned with a book deal. They only write because there is a demand from average citizens.

I voted good and bad, because they get people thinking about fishing and fantizising a little. But they are bad becuase they make local people mad when they see people on "their" water. All in all though, it's no big secret that central PA has some great fishing, no matter if 100 books were written or no books were written.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 12:06
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Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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Yes, good point about these books being written >10 years ago. Back then most sources of "honey holes" we're word of mouth, TU meetings or at the local tavern after a few brewskies. These days such books are almost obsolete although some are very specific.

I too use the Pa list of streams with natural reproduction as a starting point. There are streams I fish not there but it is fairly complete. The PFBC list covers about 3000+ streams with not many specifics. I think its good source of info w/o being exploitive.

NJA

Posted on: 2009/1/15 12:36


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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From Duncannon, PA
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As a new entrant to the state and the sport I've read my share of these books for PA. Not knowing any flyfishermen made it tough to get into the sport and not knowing a single thing about the area made it nearly impossible.

I voted good and bad. The books were very helpful in showing streams and good ways to get to them. However, neither of us have any interest in reading about hot spots with exact coordinates on streams. Honestly, we'd rather find them on our own.

Posted on: 2009/1/15 13:32
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Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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I think they are a good resource. I picked up Charlie Meck's "Pennsylvania trout streams and hatches" within the first month or so of me fly fishing. I had no clue what I was doing, and only fished a local park, because it was the only place I knew of locally that had trout. The book broadened my horizon to the many "popular" streams in the area. All of the one's I have fished so far were popular fishing spots (Neshannock, Slippery Rock) that I could have found by doing some research, but when you have an expert to do that for you, it opened my eyes to places to go and the hatches and stories about the streams. If it wasn't for that book, I wouldn't have gotten addicted to this sport, nor have joined this chat board and have fly fishing always on my mind!

Posted on: 2009/1/16 10:42
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Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
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I think they are useful and for those new to the area indispensable. However, the authors of the PA books have used pretty good judgement in that they do NOT tell all. They focus on Special regs streams and selected stocked streams, as well as some of the Class A's.

I think if you were to ask them they would say that under no circumstances should a special, lightly fished wild trout stream that is out of the limelight be given additonal attention by citing it in print or on the internet. The main exception to that is if it comes under environmental threat and public action is needed.

They worry that such a stream would be ripe for picking by the pay for play outfits, or that the sudden increase in activity will get an owner concerned about all the traffic and post it.

"I have one favorite stream where I've never seen another fly-fisher in five years," Meck wrote in one of his books. He did NOT name the stream. Good for him.

I think they handle this just about right and do not consider them "kiss and tell", so I voted "Good."

Of the ones available, Landis has the format that is most useful.

Posted on: 2009/1/16 22:01


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2006/10/26 23:01
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I think the books by Landis and Meck are good. I have both and both are falling apart along with my Delorme from use over the past 6 years. I do find Landis' book a better guidebook with Meck's having a better narrative. First, they make the sport more acessible. I know many disagree, but I think growing the sport of fishing is a good thing. Second, there assessments of the quality of the water are accurate. They do not inflate expectations like, say, Eastern Fly Fishing does. Third, they are responsible by reporting the environmental issues affecting the streams. Lastly, in general, they only index and title waters that are ATW or class A. They do mention other streams, but you actually have to read them very carefully.

There are still tons of streams they don't mention and I agree most of the smaller streams would not get more pressure even if publicized accurately, because people want big streams with big fish.

Posted on: 2009/1/18 7:06


Re: Tell all books: good or bad?

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2008/5/11 9:50
From Lancaster
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I can't speak for the other books mentioned because I havn't read them, but I wouldn't consider Dwight Landis's guide book to be a "Tell All". Most of the streams named are very well known, common knowledge, special regs water. In fact the SE pa section of this book, where I live, only lists regulated water. I can tell you with certainty that that leaves out a substantial number of small, obscure, trout water. When I started fly fishing for trout a few years ago I had absolutly no idea where to look for trout. Without a mentor those books are a newbies only source of knowledge.

Posted on: 2009/1/18 11:09



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